Foodie confession time. As much as I love to cook, using tofu scares me a little for some reason. I like the taste of it and I usually enjoy eating it, but I never know what to do with it once I get it home. Sure, I have used tofu in the gnocchi I made a few weeks ago but I barely did anything with it other than plop it into my Vita-Mix. However, since we have started to drastically decrease our intake of meat products, I figured I should try cooking tofu at home. Usually my favorite way to eat this lovely soybean product is usually in some kind of stir fry. I figured this would also be a nice starter tofu dish. Looking in my pantry, I found this:
So, after pressing the extra firm tofu for about 30 minutes, I cut half of the block into small cubes.
I wanted to replicate that fried taste of the restaurant tofu I love, but without all of the unnecessary calories and fat–you know, lighten it up a bit. 😉
After giving the tofu a dash of salt and pepper, I pan fried the tofu pieces in a tablespoon of oil.
After about 8 minutes, I removed the tofu from the pan and kept it in a warm place. In the same pan, I added some fresh broccoli, minced garlic, and some good ol’ H2O.
I placed the lid on the hot pan immediately. Then, adding the water with the other three ingredients, helps to steam the broccoli and infuse the garlic flavor. Delicious!
Once the garlic was almost cooked, I added the tofu and General Tsao Sauce to the pan. I stir fried the mixture for a couple minutes and then we were ready to eat.
I served my mixture with a homemade ginger rice. The combination was perfect. The bottled sauce was surprisingly not overly salty. Instead, it was sweet with a zing of heat at the end! I highly recommend it. The tofu was crispy on the outside but not greasy. In fact, after a couple of bites I was telling Reggie how great I thought the tofu was and he responded—“tofu?! I thought this was chicken! Nice work bb!” I am not sure how or why he thought he was eating chicken but you gotta love that!
Tofu & Broccoli Stir Fry
8 oz. firm tofu, pressed and chopped into 1/2 cubes
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup broccoli florets
1 tablespoon oil (canola or vegetable)
1/4 cup Stir Fry Sauce (I used General Tsao Sauce from Trader Joe’s)
1/2-3/4 cup water
Salt & Cayenne Pepper, to taste
1. Heat a heavy skillet or wok to medium-high heat. Add oil and tofu. Brown the tofu evenly on each side (about 8 minutes). Remove from the pan and place in a warm place.
2. Place broccoli, garlic, and water into the same pan. Immediately place the lid on the pan to steam the broccoli. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
3. Add the tofu and sauce to the pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes and serve with Ginger Rice (recipe follows).
1/2 cup uncooked rice (white or brown)
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon fresh, minced ginger
Salt & Pepper to taste
If you are not using a rice cooker, Place all ingredients into a small sauce pan heated to medium-high heat. Once the rice comes to a boil, lower the temperature to low and cook until the rice has absorbed all of the water. Serve warm.
I am incredibly lucky and headed back to Napa for the weekend. I have some pretty spectacular reservations lined up. Can’t wait to share them!